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Who Wants To Be a Millionaire? Book Describes Journey

15 September 2006

During the fall of 2001, I had a radio talk show, and the very last guest interviewed, via long-distance telephone, was Bob Dancer, professional video poker guru. He announced on the show that he had written a new book and that it would be published sometime during 2002. He said that it was not a how-to-play type book but that it was a chronicle of the last eight years, from the time he started in Vegas in 1993 with only $6,000 until he and his wife Shirley won a breathtaking million dollars over a six-month period in 2000 and 2001.

The book was to be titled, appropriately enough, Million Dollar Video Poker.

Well, I received my copy of the book around the beginning of 2003, about the time I began my break from reading and writing about gambling. By the beginning of April, I had three months of "Casino Player," "Strictly Slots," "Las Vegas Advisor" and "Blackjack Forum" neatly stacked on the reading table next to my bed, and Dancer's book was right there on top of that stack.

I did finally read Million $ VP and regretted having waited so long. I had seen a lot of chatter about the book on video poker message boards and knew it was going to be a good read, but I had promised myself absolutely no reading for three months - no cutting out gambling articles and filing them away, nothing, for three months. But I think that's one promise to myself that I should have broken.

I was hooked from the very first paragraph:

"Gamblers are always dreaming about hitting it big. My version of that dream came true during a six-month period between September 2000 and March 2001. It was that to-die-for time where all lights are green, chocolate doesn't have calories, and there are never lines at the supermarket."

During a quick glance at the Table of Contents, I had already found the entire focus of the book: Section Five - Winning is a Process, Not an Event. That one statement says it all. Sure, there are plenty of anecdotes about eating one meal a day and stuffing oneself at comped (free) buffets and about fluctuations in fortune. Some stories are quite comical, while others are downright gut wrenching.

Some of the best stories are about the differences in Bob's and Shirley's viewpoints about gambling and particularly the differences of opinion about the calculated risks he's willing to take and she's not.

But the one overall theme of Million $ VP is the process of developing a successful attitude toward gambling.

True to his word, Dancer didn't write a how-to book; there's not a single strategy chart, and you don't have to be a video poker expert to enjoy the book. But there is still a lot of good, solid information about preparing yourself to take advantage of opportunities that present themselves.

The heart of the book is the last one-fourth, the part about the million dollar six months, aptly called "the white-knuckle ride." But that doesn't mean you can skip over the first three quarters of the book; you have to read the first part to be able to savor the last part.

Million Dollar Video Poker is well worth the $16.95 price tag and can be ordered at www.bobdancer.com.

Until next week, aces and faces to you.

Linda Mabry

Low Roller Linda Mabry lives and gambles on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. She writes a weekly, general gambling advice column for the Biloxi Sun Herald, and may be contacted through her e-mail address, lnmabry@cableone.net or her web site www.thelowroller.com
Linda Mabry
Low Roller Linda Mabry lives and gambles on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. She writes a weekly, general gambling advice column for the Biloxi Sun Herald, and may be contacted through her e-mail address, lnmabry@cableone.net or her web site www.thelowroller.com